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Honda Announces 2018 CB1000R With Styling Influenced by Neo-Sports Café Concept

The beautiful Neo-Sports Café Concept displayed at the Tokyo Motor Show has led directly to a production CB1000R unveiled by Honda in Milan earlier today. This new model is not merely a styling exercise, as it is essentially an entirely new engineering project, as reflected in the following press release.

Interestingly, the 998cc inline-four engine is based on the current CBR1000RR (apparently). Honda appears to have focused much effort on reduced weight, as well. U.S. availability is scheduled for Summer of 2018. Here is the press release:

MILAN, Italy (November 6, 2017) – Honda’s leading sport naked model is reborn today with the introduction of a minimalist but aggressively styled 2018 CB1000R. Unveiled at the EICMA motorcycle show, the model is a production version of the Neo-Sports Café Concept showcased at the recent Tokyo Motor Show. Following an early-2018 European release, the new CB1000R will be available in the U.S. in summer of next year.

The CB1000R’s bold shift in identity is bolstered by an impressive list of updates to the chassis, engine, and electronics package, which deftly bridge the gap between performance and bare-boned café racer inspirations.

“The CB1000R has always represented high performance in a naked four-cylinder machine, and while we knew that retaining that approach was important, we also felt it was time to take the platform in a new direction,” said Lee Edmunds, American Honda’s Manager of Motorcycle Marketing Communications. “Increasingly, customer expectations walk a line between high-end performance and character, so it’s vital that there be a strong, emotional connection between rider and machine. With the new approach of the 2018 CB1000R, customers will experience increased pride in ownership while also benefiting from greatly improved handling and engine performance.”


  • Distinctly styled round headlight has 3.5-inch shorter overhang, while the swingarm-mounted rear mudguard unit (a first for Honda) contributes to compact, trapezoidal shape silhouette that offers more elegant, refined appearance
  • Premium feel thanks to burnished-aluminum radiator shroud and airbox cover plus machined engine cases, cylinder head, and sprocket hub
  • Flangeless tank offers elegant styling and provides plenty of knee room through distinct cutaways
  • All-LED lighting and horseshoe-shaped light ring bring a modern flare to retro styling
  • .5-inch wider tapered-aluminum handlebar sits .5 inches higher for more relaxed riding position, making the café-racer inspired model ideal for around-town rides
  • Mono-backbone steel frame uses split-tightening aluminum pivot plates to save 5.5 pounds while still offering optimum handling characteristics
  • Total curb weight has been reduced for improved handling and more rider-friendly performance
  • Showa Separate Function Fr Fork Big Piston unit (SFF-BP) offers reduced weight and excellent on-road performance
  • 190/55 ZR17 rear tire (compared to 180/55 ZR17 tire on previous model)
  • 998cc DOHC four-cylinder engine shares same architecture and layout as CBR1000RR and now employs forged pistons (rather than cast)
  • Higher valve lift, larger valves (8.5mm intake and 8.1mm exhaust), larger-diameter inlet ports, and new combustion-chamber shape improve gas flow and offer improved torque in midrange, for more engaging riding experience
  • 4% reduction in gear ratios improves acceleration for more exciting, rapid-roll-on acceleration
  • Assist/slipper clutch offers light lever pull and helps manage aggressive downshifts
  • New 4-2-1 exhaust system boosts torque at 5,000 rom and above, saves 10 pounds, and provides the CB1000R with a deeper, rawer exhaust note for added character and emotion
  • Throttle By Wire opens the door to four riding modes (STANDARD, SPORT, RAIN, and USER), as well as Engine Brake and Honda Selectable Torque Control (HSTC)—technological advances that bridge the gap between performance and café racer inspirations

See more of MD’s great photography:



  1. Shriker says:

    Like it a lot…..thoroughly modern and edgy and different ……definitely NOT retro. Proportions are good….

    Kawi’s are nice but just not right …..too tall . They really tried but its just not there.

  2. Tommy D says:

    BMW R Nine T was a surprising hit for BMW. They sell everyone of them they make. Then they split it into sub models. Is the CB1000R Honda’s answer? I think so. Neo-classic bikes are aimed squarely at the demographic that was riding in the 70’s and early 80’s. The old guy in a Porsche is being replaced. I can afford a bunch of cool bikes for the price of one Porsche.

  3. paul246 says:

    The more I study this bike the more I’m falling in love with it. It has a distinctive look that is truly modern, along with Honda’s reputation for build quality. I really like the look of this bike, from all angles. I want it.

  4. Fred says:

    Makes me want go to my shop and pull out the cold chisel!

  5. hipsabad says:

    those footpegs are sportbike-height–ouch!

  6. viktor92 says:

    The only naked bike that not seems a transformer it’s the Z900RS

  7. VLJ says:

    Okay, after further rumination, I think I can now say that I land on the side of…I love this thing. My only two real gripes concern the abbreviated passenger seat and all the exposed plumbing on the left side of the motor. I especially dislike the one hose running directly across the side of the motor. Tacky. I can accept the swingarm-mounted license plate holder, because where else could it go? The only other option would be for a KTM-style foot-long plastic antenna-looking thing jutting out the back.

    Both options suck, but that’s what you get when the law requires that the license plate has to extend beyond the rear tire, and there is insufficient passenger-seat length from which to hang a normal bracket.

    I’m not thrilled by the oversized exhaust canister. The significantly smaller one on the red prototype looks so much better. I’d probably end up swapping pipes, but the stock unit isn’t horrible. It’s decent enough. It’s basically impossible these days to create a good-looking Euro 4-compliant exhaust system for a sporting naked standard. The Triumph Bonneville T120, Honda CB1100, and the new Moto Guzzi Daffy Duck ADV manage it, but none of those designs are the least bit sporty.

  8. Saki says:

    I love this but Kawasaki hit the ball out of the park with the Z900RS. If the Z-RS didn’t exist this new CB would be my choice. The Cafe version of the Z is really nice, too… It’s being displayed at EICMA with the lovely classic Kawasaki logo on the tank, which I believe will be one of many detail options… I will be buying a black Z-RS next year.

  9. Advmoto says:

    Looks nice but I’m going to put my money on the new Indian FTR 1200 custom when it comes out. Finally a non cruiser VTwin made in the USA! Can’t wait to see what else is coming..

  10. MGNorge says:

    I’m not in the market for something like this but after looking it over for a bit I like it. Of course, final judgement is seeing it in the altogether. Avant-garde or even chic. Enough of an old-fart weighing in on modern bikes, will it pull in today’s base of riders? I do applaud design cues leading us away from Transformer styling which I never warmed up to.

  11. iwc3714 says:

    Wow! Very impressive Honda. It lost very few design elements from the concept shown at the Tokyo auto show. So many decisions to make
    for m.y. 18. Time to trade in my ’15 Monster 821. Just can’t decide between this or the Z900RS. I can’t wait to get back to the banshee wail of an inline 4. Hopefully the price point wouldn’t be too high of these modern retro Japanese naked bike. Welcome back!!

  12. Rokster says:

    The more I look at it the more I like it. It looks very powerful but at the same time simple and quite elegant. The aluminum touches are beautiful and the huge muffler was integrated well into the overall design.
    Seat stitching in the same color as the tank badge is a subtle touch of class.
    That exposed back wheel has always been an attractive item, I just wonder how it would look in that same brushed aluminum style…
    I have owned 3 of the 4 big name Japanese bikes, will this one make it 4?

    • austin zzr 1200 says:

      Having owned 4 of 4, in my opinion with Honda you gain reliability/resale but lose some character….that may not be true with this bike

  13. Auphliam says:

    I dig it. Even the stock exhaust. Bowing to the environmental wonks the world over is no easy feat…for a designer, it’s got to be a maddening exercise. They seem to have done a fine job here of making all of “THAT” look as good as possible. I personally, would like to see a little more in the area of passenger accommodations, but to be fair, Honda isn’t alone in that oversight these days. Then again, is this the bike you buy to take your wife for a ride?

  14. Fred says:

    Who are they kidding ? Concept bike to full production in just over a week.
    Give me a break Mr Honda San, how many years old is that concept bike really ?

  15. VLJ says:

    I agree that it looks equally good from either side. I just haven’t decided yet as to how good I think either side looks.

    The stock canister isn’t bad. I’m not sure I’d keep it, but it’s definitely not bad.

    I think the only thing about which I’m certain is that it doesn’t look like a liter bike to me. It has more of a 650 vibe to me. That’s not necessarily a bad thing…maybe?

    Yeah, I just can’t decide. Although it’s not quite Transformers, it definitely leans toward The Jetsons.

    • VLJ says:

      Oops, that comment was supposed to be in response to Norm G’s response to my original comment, way down the page.

  16. jrwells says:

    Is it wrong that I like the smiley face on the right side cylinder wall, and bored face on the left?

    Black out those radiator side panels and we’re good.

  17. skortch says:

    Huh. This may be one of the few Hondas over the past 15 years that I actually like and could see owning. Performance, weight, and looks are all good. The fact that the design is so polarizing could be ssen as a good thing. Seems like the reviews here range from awesome to hideous to boring and everything in between.

    As others have mentioned it seems to blend Japanese and European/BMW nineT influences and aesthetics. A few details that are iffy to me but, overall, well done Red.

  18. Mark says:

    I think it is stunning. If the price is fair, I WILL buy one. I’m excited about the powerful engine and nice wheels, the slick tank and seat… awesome! Honda, please give use the red paint from the prototype, or maybe a Pearl Blue or Pearl White. I’ll replace the big ugly exhaust myself!

  19. Doc says:

    I would call this a modern standard or maybe even UJM. Retro this is not. And as far as modern standards go, this might be the best. The ZX900RS blends classic with modern that I also like but this does none of that. Couple of nits though. The tail section is too short, the style of plate holder I don’t care for regardless of brand and the color should be the same red as the NEO Sport. Also prefer the muffler of the concept. Minor stuff really. None are deal breakers. And no origami styling in sight!!! Thank God for small miracles. Would I buy it? Yes. But only if Honda did not bring in the CB1100RS. I still prefer a classic style.

  20. SausageCreature says:

    Stubby, useless tail section really ruins it for me. Man, I’m really getting sick of those. The muffler’s pretty bad, too, but at least the aftermarket can take care of that.

    • joe b says:

      SausageCreature, says the tail section ruins it for him. Spoken like a true Sausage. Sausage people unite, don’t be a sausage.

  21. todd says:

    Also looks like it could use a longer swing arm. The stubby one is probably there to limit acceleration and induce wheelies.

    • Jeremy in TX says:

      I think I read somewhere that the swing arm is actually longer than the outgoing model.

      • Norm G. says:

        speaking of the outgoing, i think this is good time to make a reference of comparison. all the complaints we the “motley crew” of MD tend to have regarding juvenile/Transformers styling of most kit coming out these days, has basically been addressed with this version of the CB. that is to say it’s decidedly mature and grown up…

        all the OG-ness of Mickey’s 1100 crossed with the contemporary power of the late Nicky’s Blade. looking back at pics of the outgoing bike does make one wonder “what they hell were they thinking…?”

  22. todd says:

    Hopefully it will also come out as a 599 or 500 or 650 – whatever mid cap engine they currently like working with. Put a reasonably sized rear tire, no more than 150 wide, and it will be a brilliant bike. Of course, a 400-four would be sweet!

    • Dave says:

      Wouldn’t be too big a stretch to re-style the cb650f…

      • Jeremy in TX says:

        I saw where they announced a 125 and 300 cc models with this styling language. So I wouldn’t be surprised to see. 650 appear soon.

    • Don says:

      Anything 750 down to 500 would be great. I consider 750 to be a pretty iconic size for a CB, so I think that would go over well. 1000cc is definitely more than I need or want. Love the styling though. I think they did a great job with this bike. Modern, but not Gundam.

  23. downgoesfraser says:

    Awesome, if they price it right, will kick some butt.

  24. Josh B. says:

    Is this thing going to “transform” on me? I don’t like it… Much prefer the Z900RS. With the updates to the FJ-09/Tracer900, if Yamaha updated the FZ-09, there’d be a tough choice for me in the future!

    • Norm G. says:

      Q: Is this thing going to “transform” on me?

      A: nope.

      Q: the old model…?

      A: it may in fact be a DECEPTICON (sleep with one eye open).

  25. Sean says:

    Unfortunately, I don’t see anything here that excites me. It looks like a perfectly adequate bike…in other words, a Honda.

  26. bmidd says:

    Well, I guess I’m in the minority here, I think it looks like a steaming pile of shit. It looks like another wanna be retro styled bike with a bobbed rear end, and a cramped rider triangle that no one over 5’9″ can ride more than an hour at a time.
    I want something that says naked CBR1000RR, not another take on the same old boring ass Retro design that people mistakenly call “Contemporary”. I would rather have a double sided swingarm, give Ducati their gosh awful license plate holder back and maybe make the rear subframe long enough to allow anyone larger than a 4 year old to sit back there. I’m done, thanks for listening.

  27. Frank says:

    Someone must have brewed a fresh pot of coffee in the design department at Honda…now this is nice! Puts the version they had out most recently to shame.

    Well done.

  28. Tank says:

    I just don’t like that it looks like someone took a hacksaw to the rear of the seat.

  29. Denny says:

    Simple (in relative terms) light and snazzy muscle bike – continuation of one time my 2003 CB919. Honda is good in this game; they are powerhouse of technology and model planning.

  30. paquo says:

    Good for Honda ! I think it will sell well.

  31. Gary says:

    Modern design. Not trying to be retro per se, but captures curren design language of that genre. Smart. Great profile. As wide as a barn door from the front. In the end what matters is how it works so I’m looking forward to ride reports and comparisons to the Z900, Scrambler, FZ9 and the Shiver.

  32. Dan says:

    I really like it. There’s a “+” model that has some added farkle, like a rear seat cowl. Both models look good, and would make great urban bikes. Especially at only 450lbs

  33. bmbktmracer says:

    This bike is proof that we’re not all clamoring for retro style, but rather GOOD style.

  34. Tim says:

    It looks to me a bit like a Honda tribute to a BMW nineT.

    • superlight says:

      It looks like a copy of the Ducati Monster 1200 to me. Nice, Honda.

    • tuskerdu says:

      I agree, it does look like a nineT tribute.

      • Provologna says:

        I thought of the same bike (BMW RNineT), but the Honda might look better, and even more unique. Obviously, the Honda would incinerate the German twin in any performance category, except possibly fuel economy and low/mid RPM torque (but I’d not necessarily bet on either).

    • Rokster says:

      First thing I thought too. But nice, despite that, or because of it…

    • iwc3714 says:

      Just more reliable and cheaper to maintain. haha Don’t get me wrong I like the BMW RnineT and Monster. I currently own a Monster 821.

    • Jeremy in TX says:

      I have to disagree somewhat. Few companies (perhaps no companies) have a more cohesive design philosophy in my opinion than Honda. Be it a Goldwing, CBR1000RR, CB1100 or even something as outlandish as a DN01 or Rune, each of their bikes is unmistakenly “Honda.” This bike looks like an evolution of one of their own machines more that a copy of or tribute to anything else.

      The part I do agree with is that the concept of using classical elements to create thoroughly fresh and modern designs is definitely what BMW has been up to with their “nine” series. Though, to be fair, that is what the Ducati Monster has always been about.

  35. carl says:

    I like it even better than Kawa 900RS just have to change exhaust and that turd hanging over rear wheel. Been looking for a naked bike and I think this will be the one.

    • austin zzr 1200 says:

      I want to know the tank-size and price before I make that call. Absolutely gorgeous bike though..agree

  36. Dave says:

    That looks great. Interesting mix of things, both visually and technologically. Alloy SS swing-arm with a steel backbone frame? Not sure how I feel about the exhaust. I know it’s a lot to try to “hide”, but I wonder if a pair of smaller under-seat mufflers wouldn’t look better on this.

    Really like the sub-frame, tank and tank/saddle junction. Very cool.

    • Norm G. says:

      re: “saddle junction”

      it’s where i take me winter holidays.

    • Jeremy in TX says:

      I had the same thought concerning the undertail exhaust. I am not a huge fan of that layout visually, but I think it may have worked better in this case.

      That, and I think a 180-section tire would look better as well. The 190 looks just a little too fat for nothing more than the sake of intentionally looking a little too fat. But I guess that is what people like these days.

      These are just minor quibbles, though. I think Honda nailed it.

  37. Jeremy in TX says:

    I love it personally: classical styling elements, but a thoroughly modern design with no aftertaste of retro. Can’t wait to see one in person.

  38. Tommy D says:

    I am truly surprised by the amount of negative response of this bike. Maybe the exhaust could be a bit smaller but the rest of the bike appeals to me. I agree with Norm! It’s a winner. I can’t wait to see one in person.

    • mickey says:

      There doesn’t appear to be a lot of dissention, in fact I seem to be the only dissenter, but the bike just doesn’t appeal to me, so I said so.

  39. Norm G. says:

    it’s bottom of the 9th, Tokyo’s up by 1 point…

    Honda may have just won the naked bike World Series.

  40. mickey says:

    No percolating for me, in my eye that’s as ugly as an NM4. Just hideous.

    • VLJ says:

      While I can’t go so far as to call it hideous, I also won’t call it beautiful.

      I will say it has a decidedly purposeful look, without the usual excess of useless, tacked-on pieces. It looks very light, and very futuristic, without going all the way to Transformers. More like…The Jetsons.

      I can definitely say that I don’t like the tail section and rear mudguard.

      You know what it looks like? A really oversized Grom.

      Realistically, though, let’s face it, compared to your bike, or the new CB1100 EX, these liquid-cooled sporty standards don’t have a prayer, looks-wise. They just don’t. Too many necessary comprises, vs the timeless design purity of that CB.

      Gotta give up something to get something.

  41. Neil says:

    YAM XSR, DUC Scrambler 1100, KAW Z900RS, and now the Honda CB1000R all look like these guys were reading over each other’s shoulder at a café. I like it. Modern and edgy. Better than what preceded it. A simple, raw, clean design with nothing not to like at a glance. Like the CB1100EX, I think it’s a great design. And the gauges are not up in your face making wind noise. Nice upside down forks. Nice looking pipes and tail section. It’ll probly go like stink too!

  42. Bob says:

    This is a beautiful contemporary design, with suggestions of traditional elements. I like it alot.

  43. Butch says:

    Black out all the brushed aluminum pieces, swing arm included.
    Undertail tag bracket.
    Shorty exhaust.
    Overall a nice package.

  44. skybullet says:

    Love the clean functional look and emphasis on lighter weight and usable power. I think somebody at Honda is listening.

  45. VLJ says:

    Hmmm. No immediate, definitive reaction one way or the other, which is unusual for me. Don’t love it, don’t hate it.

    Yep, I’m going to need to let this one percolate a bit….

    • Norm G. says:

      even with the necessary mods to the exhaust and the subframe, Norm’s calling it a “home run”.

      when a bike looks good dead on from both the left AND the right sides…? (something that’s rarely happened as of late) yeah it’s an automatic WIN. the tank and swingarm are both light years better than why Ducat’s just delivered on the PV4. headlight’s the first true modern take on the classic round. they have a seat cowl for it, and i could even let it live it’s whole life with that stock canister, no mean feat.

      Honda’s gone and built the better mouse trap… err… Speed Triple.

      • Provologna says:

        “…better…Speed Triple” Good call, Norm!

        Man, there are so many interesting and apparently stellar bikes announced lately, I’d be afraid to buy one only to find something catch my eye soon after. Is that a good problem, maybe?

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